Agora translates the report from the French; very much worth reading — here are two more excerpts beyond what I blogged about before (if any readers have corrections to relevant parts of the translation, please post them in the comments):
The caricature relating to the sexual gratification of suicide bombers with virgin women suggests the return of a age-old historical islamophobic Western imagery: the association of Islam and its prophet with sexual depravity. The way in which these caricatures defames Islam has now been defined....
So actual beliefs of some Muslims about Islamic theology may not be alluded to (see, e.g., the CBS News interview with a Palestinian would-be suicide bomber, Aug. 19, 2001, in which the bomber reports that "I described to him how God would compensate the martyr for sacrificing his life for his land. If you become a martyr, God will give you 70 virgins, 70 wives and everlasting happiness."), lest this somehow "defame" Islam by "associating [it] and its prophet with sexual depravity." (Incidentally, I doubt that many people would find it depraved to want to have 70 wives serving you in heaven; the depravity lies in the attacks on innocents that some believe earn you this reward.)
The Special Rapporteur notes with satisfaction the reactions of the leaders of various religions, illustrated also by the statement made by the European Council of Religious Leaders. This declaration invites all religious leaders to do their utmost to reject and stop the acts of violence and terror which are carried out in the name of God, and condemns the use of the Freedom of Expression for blasphemous ends, which is seen as a violation of this freedom when it is exerted without taking into account the detrimental effects on individuals and groups.
So, according to the UN, the age-old crime of blasphemy — which I had assumed Enlightenment free speech principles had successfully interred, at least in the West — needs to be revived as a "violation" of the "freedom of expression." In this respect, the UN official wants to drag the West back into the 17th century. Will the West obediently go?
Related Posts (on one page):
- More from the UN Report Criticizing the Danish Government:
- Another U.N. Official Demanding Speech Restrictions, and Faulting Denmark for Protecting Free Speech Too Much: